Prime Minister Li Kiqiang, in his draft budget submitted to the Chinese National People’s Congress (CNC), stated that defense expenditures will increase by 7.2 percent to 1.55 trillion yuan (approximately 220 billion dollars).
China had increased its defense spending by 7.1 percent to 1.45 trillion yuan in 2022.
The rate of increase exceeded the economic growth target set at around 5 percent this year.
Expenditures decrease in dollar terms
Although the defense budget is predicted to increase in yuan, expenditures will decrease in dollar terms due to the depreciation of the national currency against the dollar.
Defense spending, which was increased to 1.45 trillion yuan in 2022, was calculated as 230 billion dollars according to the exchange rate of that day. Despite the increase this year, it is seen that there is a loss of approximately 10 billion dollars (6 per thousand) in the budget compared to last year.
China is the country that spends the most on defense after the USA.
At the end of last year, the US Congress approved $800 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2023. The defense budget had increased by 4.3 percent compared to the previous year. In 2022, the USA allocated a budget of 767 billion dollars to national defense. Defense expenditures made up about 12 percent of the public budget.